Judge Richard A. Posner is one of America’s leading legal minds, a prodigious author, and a foremost authority in the jurisprudence of economics. He is also an outspoken critic of the current patent system, which he thinks it’s in dire need of a reform. If you are interested in reading Posner’s sharp analysis of the patent system in America, I suggest his great article in The Atlantic.
When last month Judge Posner dismissed a complicated legal case between Apple and Motorola (a Google subsidiary) with prejudice (meaning that the lawsuit cannot be resubmitted), not many legal experts were surprised. However, many predicted that at least one of two parties would appeal the case and bring it in front of the Federal Circuit.
As it turns out, both parties have filled appeals, requesting the federal court to re-examine all the decisions that they perceive as unfavorable.
Patent expert Florian Mueller from FOSS Patents thinks that, given the Federal Circuit’s penchant to favor patent-holders, it’s likely that at least some of Posner’s rulings would be overturned. Furthermore, he thinks that Motorola has a more solid case, calling it “extremely well-reasoned”.
What I find striking here is that both Apple and Motorola/Google seem committed to go all the way when it comes to enforcing their patents against competitors. As Mueller notes, they left “no stone unturned”, which, to me, highlights the bitterness of the legal disputes that have been going one over the last years.
Sadly, the only ones winning here are patent lawyers.